In the second instalment of cult sci-fi adventure film series ‘Back to the Future’, Marty McFly and Doc crashed the future landing at 21st October 2015. On this day, we celebrate the film by taking a journey back through time to pick the best time travelling movies around…
Set in 2044, Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in ‘Looper’ as a contract killer who shoots victims sent to him from the future so he can can dispose of their bodies in the past. Still following? It’s when his older self played by Bruce Willis arrives to be killed that things get really complicated.
4. Midnight in Paris
Bored and creatively unfulfilled in the present day, screenwriter and novelist Gil Pender (Owen Wilson) finds himself travelling back to the 1920s using a car in the backstreets of Paris as a portal. At a party in the roaring decade he encounters a host of famous artists and writers including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Salvador Dali. When he meets Adriana (Marion Cotillard), he has to decide whether he wants to exist in the 21st century. Woody Allen directs.
3. Twelve Monkeys
Bruce Willis features again on the list, this time starring as James Cole alongside Brad Pitt in Terry Gilliam’s neo-noir sci-fi flick ’12 Monkeys’. Set initially in Philadelphia in 2027, Cole goes back in time to 1990 to gather information on a deadly virus that wipes out nearly all of humanity in 1996.
2. The Terminator
It’s hard to talk cinema time travel without hitting on James Cameron’s action classic The Terminator, a franchise which is still going today! Arnold Schwarzenegger is in the titular role as a cyborg assassin sent back from 2029 to 1984 to take out Sarah Connor, in order to prevent her son’s actions decades later.
1. Back to the Future II
Of course, taking top spot is the Robert Zemeckis film that inspired the article. ‘Back to the Future II’ follows the original’s protagonist Marty who, after time-hopping to 2015, has to jump back to 1955 and take the same trip as he did in the first movie without affecting 1985. Easy!
As The Cult Den celebrates one of the most famous faces in film, I remember my five favourite Bruce Willis performances.
The most recent of my selections, Rian Johnson’s time travel flick ‘Looper’ was a mind-bending success. Set in 2044, Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) plies his trade as an assassin picking off targets sent back in time. Confused? Bruce Willis plays an old Joe sent back to be killed by his younger self, which would in turn also mean his younger self would cease to exist. If you don’t want to think about it too much, you can at least enjoy the efforts of the make-up team transforming JGL into a young Willis.
When you think of Bruce Willis, there’s a good chance the first film you will think of is Die Hard. As officer John McClane, his far-fetched antics wowed audiences around the world and despite the varying success of the various sequels, it will always go down as one of his crowning moments. Yippee Ki Yay!
Who can forget Bruce Willis’ performance as Harry Stamper, the leader of the Freedom shuttle drill team? Michael Bay’s sci-fi disaster thriller was big, bold and ridiculous, as was the all-star cast. However, that takes nothing away from the powerful closing scenes which see Willis make the ultimate sacrifice for the greater good. What a hero!
The Sixth Sense
The surprise ending so publicised that it sort of failed to surprise anyone, Bruce Willis gave a memorable performance as child psychologist Dr Malcolm Crowe in M. Night Shyamalan’s supernatural chiller The Sixth Sense. When he meets nine year old patient Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment), he tries to help him with his unusual problem, leading to the much parodied line ‘I see dead people’.
Quentin Tarantino’s crime epic quickly became a cult classic but sadly Bruce Willis’ part as boxer Butch Coolidge is often overlooked. In an famously structured non-linear narrative, his section entitled The Gold Watch is wedged in between tales of a dysfunctional contract killer duo but despite perhaps not being as iconic, for me it showcases Willis at his very best. When Butch double crosses the local mob boss, his carefully planned getaway plan goes sodomitically awry!